Snorkeling Around Dominica

Photo Credit: © Francisco Daum CC BY

Considered one of the top ten countries for snorkeling in the world, the crystal-clear waters of Dominica offer an incredible experience for novice and expert alike.


Snorkeling offers a great way to jump right in and check out everything the Dominica has to offer. The waters surrounding the island have a visibility of about 100 feet, allowing curious visitors to take in the underwater world without committing to more complex dive gear

Snorkeling gear is offered for free at many local accommodations, while the island's many dive shops also rent out snorkels, masks, and fins for around $10 to $25(USD) per day. There are nearly 30 featured sites around the island, meaning that guests are promised a unique and uncrowded experience, every time. 

The waters off the west coast are especially calm, making snorkeling a treat. Some great places to explore include Scott's Head Marine Reserve, within which is Champagne Snorkeling, one of the most raved about reef sites in the region, Toucari Hot Springs, and the Coral Gardens.

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to explore what's down below you might enjoy visiting Champagne. Named for the bubbly water that is a result of streams of air effervesce, this site is certainly a unique one. Underwater, snorkelers will see hard and soft coral alive with lobster, frogfish, sea horses, sea anemones, yellow sponges, sea urchins, and schools of juvenile fish. This snorkeling site is found within the southern part of Dominica.

Coral Gardens South is another place you might enjoy. With a maximum depth of 15 feet, this shallow site has a great diversity of marine life to explore including sea anemones, moray eels, and sting rays.

A third location to consider is Douglas Bay. Hard and soft multi-colored corals have overcome several underwater boulders in this bay, encouraging other marine life such as barrel sponges, and tropical fish.

A fourth place where you can go snorkeling is Pointe Guignard. While you will typically see coral reef teeming with brightly colored reef fish when you snorkel, this area is known for bringing out the more unique sea life including octopus, sea horses, and lobsters. If you want to experience it for yourself, you'll find this site found in the southern part of Dominica.

Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve is a fifth option to consider. Part of a three mile marine reserve that includes the rim of an underwater volcanic crater, you may think this is reason enough alone to try snorkeling here. Actually, it i the hard and soft corals that blanket the rim that are truly impressive. There are a few different snorkeling sites throughout the reserve, including the Danglebon's Pinnacles, the Champagne Bubbles Area, and the L'Abym.

The table below shows some key facts regarding 9 of the most popular places to go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Dominica
Site Location
Champagne 3.7 mi. South of Central downtown Roseau
Coral Gardens South 1.7 mi. South of Central Pointe Michel
Douglas Bay 1.7 mi. South-Southwest of Central Clifton
Pointe Guignard 1.4 mi. South of Central Pointe Michel
Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve 0.4 mi. West of Central Scotts Head Village
Solomon Reef 1.9 mi. South-Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Black Sands Beach 0.5 mi. East of Central Calibishie
Secret Beach 2.4 mi. South-Southwest of Central Portsmouth
Woodford Hill Bay 2.0 mi. East of Central Calibishie

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the best snorkeling is located off shore.

If you'd like to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you should consider Waitukubuli Adventure Tour Co.. In addition to day sails off the coast of Dominica, there are a number of sailing destinations that can be arranged -- including trips to Portsmouth Beach, Mero Beach, Martinique, and Guadeloupe.

Another option to consider is Anchorage Dive and Whale Watch. The main product from this dive center is their scuba tours and whale watching. They are also able to give you basic diving instructions that will enable beginners to also go out and dive. They're located within southern Dominica.

Still another option is Waitukubuli Eco Tours. Waitukubuli Eco Tours gives you the option of several boat tours from whale watching and dolphin spotting to general sightseeing tours that focus on local heritage.

Check the table just below for more information about boat operators that provide snorkeling opportunities.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On Dominica
Name Phone Location
Anchorage Dive and Whale Watch (767) 448-2638 1.1 mi. Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Dominica Marine Center (767) 440-2628 1.1 mi. Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Waitukubuli Adventure Tour Co. (767) 440-2628 Downtown Roseau
Waitukubuli Eco Tours (767) 275-7001 Roseau

Snorkeling Services

Dive Dominica

If you looking for someone offering snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you should check out Dive Dominica. Don't take for granted all of the wonders that Scotts Head Marine Reserve has to offer. This tour group specializes in helping snorkelers see the best of the best within the reserve based on the day's conditions. They are located in the southern part of Dominica.

A second place that offers snorkeling related services is Cabrits Dive Centre. The only dive center located on the northwest end of the island, the staff here knows all of the best local spots for snorkeling in addition to diving that are crowd-free and simply amazing to see.

A third company worth contacting is Fort Young Hotel Snorkeling. This tour guide specializes in trips to the Scotts Head Marine Reserve, where both scuba divers and snorkelers will have plenty to see. They're situated in downtown Roseau.

Some information regarding 8 firms that offer services related to snorkeling are listed here:

Snorkeling Services On Dominica
Name Type Phone Location
Al Dive Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (767) 440-3483 1.6 mi. South-Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Cabrits Dive Centre Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 445-3011 1.3 mi. West of Central Portsmouth
Champagne Reef Snorkel Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (767) 440-5085 3.8 mi. South of Central downtown Roseau
Dive Dominica Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 448-2188 0.8 mi. Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Fort Young Hotel Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 448-5000 Downtown Roseau
Irie Safari Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 440-5085 2.3 mi. North of Central Scotts Head Village
JC Ocean Adventures Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 295-0757 Dominica
Nature Island Dive Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 449-8181 1.5 mi. North-Northeast of Central Scotts Head Village

For more information concerning snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for beginners and "pros" check out this comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling page.

From the volcanic underwater topography to the marine reserves geared towards keeping marine life pristine, Dominica's snorkeling scene has a lot going for it.  Experience it for yourself on your next island vacation and know that you won't be disappointed in a moment of it.


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